Aware of the challenges posed by the significant proliferation of Participatory Budgeting, especially in terms of methodological and deliberative consistency of these processes, Oficina Association has decided to create an Index that will serve as a tool for self-assessment of the quality of these initiatives.
The work was based on the Quality Charter for Participatory Budgeting, created in 2017, within a collaborative session involving various members of the Portuguese Network of Participatory Local Authorities. This charter was drafted with the aim of establishing the essential principles that entities should uphold in their respective processes, regardless of the differences that may exist among them.
The main purpose of this work was, at the time, to provide a guiding framework for local authorities interested in developing initiatives of this nature, thereby contributing to their qualification and sustainable growth.
Approximately six years later, Oficina revisited the Quality Charter and established measurement units to assess the compliance with the thirteen principles defined back then. This work resulted in fifty indicators designed to respect the healthy methodological diversity of the processes while challenging each initiative to engage in a self-reflective and self-questioning exercise, ultimately allowing them to elevate their ambitions.
Together, the indicators form the Participatory Budgeting Quality Index (PBQI). This will serve as a framework for each entity to evaluate its Participatory Budgeting and understand in which dimensions it is necessary to invest more effort to continuously improve the process.
To facilitate access to this tool, Oficina has created a specific website, initially available in Portuguese and English, where any entity can register its initiative and engage in the self-reflective exercise. Responses to each indicator can be accompanied by the recording of observations or reflections not to be forgotten. The results will be exported in the form of a report.
In a second phase of this work, Oficina will improve this resource with best practices or inspiring examples associated with the different principles and indicators that make up the PBQI.
The presentation of the PBQI will take place on the 19th of October, with the participation of several Portuguese local authorities.